3.9/10 - Happiness study leaves Gympie in a very sad state
A BOND University study attempting to measure "happiness” has left Gympie in a very sad state, with the Gold City's "Overall Quality of Life” scoring only 3.9 on a scale of 10.
Described as "a large-scale data journalism initiative”, the " Happiness Project” used "more than 17,000 data points (including the Australian Bureau of Statistics) to investigate the geography of advantage and disadvantage in 540 local government areas across Australia”.
Data in nine categories including housing, education, employment and wealth was averaged to determine each LGA's overall quality of life, and Gympie's results were poor across the board.
The Gympie LGA scored a miserly 1.7 out of 10 in the wealth category, 2.3 in employment, 2.5 in housing, 3.4 in health and 3.5 in community as part of the 3.9 "Quality of Life” score.
That figure matched the South Burnett LGA's score, above Cherbourg with 3.6 and just below the Fraser Coast (4.0) and the North Burnett (4.2).
Brisbane (7.2) and the Sunshine Coast (6.3) were among the nation's highest scores.
Bachelor of Journalism student and project contributor Emily Bradfield described her shock at the results.
"Being raised in the country, the most shocking data for me was the poor work-life balance in regional and remote areas, specifically heavy farming areas,” Ms Bradfield said.
Gympie scored just 4.0 out of 10 in the work-life balance category and crossed the halfway point only twice; in accessibility (5.7) and safety (8.0).
The project's "major findings” pointed to education as the "biggest factor associated with overall quality of life”.
"Our analyses suggest that when we compare a whole range of categories and factors with the quality of life scores, the strongest relationship is with education, followed by health,” the study said.
The study also stressed a low overall score did not necessarily mean any LGA was "unhappy”.
"A low overall quality of life score could mean that your region is underserved relative to other regions, or that it's facing specific social or economic barriers,” it said.
"If you live there, you may already be aware of some of those challenges.
"We hope the Happiness Project gives some of the regions with lower scores a way to understand social and economic disadvantage and thereby start discussions about resource need.”
More information on the Happiness Project can be found here.